It seems like every baseball season brings its share of crazy, quirky plays. Sometimes, these plays involve animals. Such an event occurred Aug. 3, when a cat got onto the field at Yankee Stadium in New York.
It was the bottom of the eighth inning and the Baltimore Orioles were in the rare position of having a 7-1 lead over the Yanks. Aaron Judge was batting. Play was halted when a furry feline appeared on the field. Stadium security and grounds crew tried to catch the tabby, but he kept running away from them.
The fans noticed the cat and seemed to be rooting for him, calling out “Go Cat Go!” and chanting “MVP!”
Eventually, someone figured out the cat just wanted to get off the field and away from all the attention. A door off the field was opened, and the cat made a hasty exit to the cheers of the audience.
Where did the cat come from? Apparently, it was a stray that hung out at the ballpark.
“We saw the cat in the dugout earlier in the game, just chilling there, so we let him be,” the Orioles’ Cedric Mullins told MLB.com. “Next thing I know, I heard all the fans cheering. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t see the cat until he was out at the outfield wall. Then it was seeing seven grown men get their ankles broken by a cat. It was pretty funny to watch.”
I hope that cat gets adopted by a wonderful person or people who give him a home with a nice place to sleep, cat food, kitty toys and plenty of love. What would I call that cat? What else? Yankee.
It wasn’t the only odd play involving an animal last week. On Aug. 2, the Washington Nationals were at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. As he sat in the dugout during the bottom of the eighth inning, Nats’ outfielder Victor Robles had a praying mantis land on his cap. Not only that, the mantis stayed on his cap when Robles went out for the ninth inning.
Robles didn’t seem to be bothered by the insect at all. At one point, he appeared to be talking to it, as if giving it instructions on how to better appreciate the game.
Maybe the mantis was there because he heard there were a lot of flies at baseball games. I wonder how long it took him to figure out these were the wrong kind of flies. I suspect he later flew up to the lights to enjoy the buffet of insects gathered there.
The Arizona Diamondbacks had a quirky play July 2 against the San Francisco Giants. Playing at Chase Field, Andrew Young hit a shot that got stuck in the outfield wall by the pool area. That’s right. It got stuck in the wall. It seems the ball landed between two of the pads that are set up so outfielders won’t get hurt when they run into the wall. It plopped between the pads and just stayed there. By the time the Jints’ Steven Duggar could retrieve the ball, Young had reached third base.
Young was waived back to second base as it was called a ground rule double. I understand Rule 5.05(a)(7) covers such matters, and it says a fair ball lodged in a wall, fence or whatever is a ground rule double. I suspect the rule may have come about because of balls getting lodged or lost in the ivy at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Young came just inches from putting one into the pool area for a home run. Of course, if he had hit a home run, we wouldn’t have a strange play to talk about.
Such is baseball and such is life.